Showing posts from May, 2012

Getting in and out of a sea kayak is not sexy . . .

While testing the Current Designs Suka sea kayak, I asked the camera guy to take some interesting shots of edging the kayak, the forward stroke, and me doing the Cowboy Scramble.

But he also captured the less sexy kayak moments, like getting in and out of the kayak. And it made me think, "You know what? This isn't cute, but it's a very important topic and a big reality we face every time we paddle, and many times during a paddle."
We have to be able to get in and out of our kayaks quickly and easily, especially if we are upside-down. If you own a fibreglass kayak, you have to master this and have a strategy for getting out of the kayak in the water before you hit the shore and the rocks. I wouldn't want to try a surf landing, but you never know when you might not have much choice.

Before testing a sea kayak I look at all the parts. When I paddle the boat, I think of paddling scenarios. Which kayak would I like to be in when . . .
the water is rough, moving, or sm…

Say hello to my little friends . . . the joys of kayaking the Tay River in Perth, Ontario, Canada

Some of the biggest joys of kayaking are . . . little friends.

Some friends are very lazy. They just hitch a free ride. We all have friends like that sometimes . . . right?
Big friends seem small when they are so far away.
Friends come in all shapes and sizes. And all makes and models. Sometimes, there are lots of them!
Some little friends have very important jobs to do. We don't want to get too close to them. We use the zoom on our cameras.
Say hello to my little friends. They are your friends too!

Kayaking the Tay River canal and marsh, Perth, Ontario, Canada with a few friends . . . awesome! Thanks to all!
These images were taken on the beautiful Tay Canal and Tay Marsh near Perth, Ontario. Enjoy!

For information on how to plan your own paddle on the Tay Canal and Marsh see:

A perfect paddle on the Tay Canal from Perth, Ontario!

Happy paddle trails!
The BaffinPaddler

Persistent Perch: Fishing with some pretty strange bait!

I was kayaking and swimming in a local lake in the National Capital Region of Canada on a hot May day that peaked in the 80s (30 Celsius) and made a new underwater friend unexpectedly.

He has pointy teeth, fins, and was about a foot and a half long.

I decided to paddle wearing the same gear as almost everyone else on the lake: a swimsuit! It was so hot. But unlike many others I added a PFD and paddle shoes.

I thought I would be able to swim for a few minutes in the cold water and do a Cowboy Scramble up my Boreal Baffin.

Even under dressed for the water temperatures, I was pretty sure I could do at least one Cowboy Scramble. I wanted to see what would happen to someone who fell in.

But I had trouble convincing myself to get into the deeper, colder lake water from the warmer shallow waters along the shoreline. Even in May it was still freezing cold. I stood there for awhile with the water only up to my knees.

"Wow. Without a wet suit, it's a big shock!" No way was I goi…

Top Ten Traits of a Dedicated Paddler

Bed's not made and never is.

Laundry's never done unless someone else does it.

House is a mess.

Grass is not mowed.

You call in sick again at work.

There is gas in the car.

Kayak is loaded and properly secured on car. (Don't forget the front and rear tie downs.)
An awesome lunch is packed.

Face is unshaven (if you are a guy). If you are a girl, you got up 30 minutes earlier to put on waterproof mascara.

And the number one trait of a Dedicated Paddler is . . . 
A BIG SMILE ON YOUR FACE . . . because you have more than one awesome sea kayak!

Did I miss any other important traits . . . ?
 Happy paddle trails!
(c) The BaffinPaddler

Wrestling my big yellow alligator: Cowboy scramble up the Boreal Baffin in Canada's cold waters

It's that time of year again, MAY! Yeah! Time to get up close and personal with the sea kayak, paddling gear, and that wet stuff I didn't spend any time with for the last six long months of Canada's finicky weather.

This year, I didn't do my first spring paddle with the Boreal Baffin hanging out on an ice shelf along the Ottawa River's shore. That was a little stupid. I wasn't dressed for slipping into water that cold with only a wet suit and no neo hoodie.

This year's first spring paddle with the Boreal Baffin was a hot, sunny May day, 24 degrees Celsius (75 degrees Fahrenheit), with a light wind at a small lake lined with cottages in Mont Tremblant, Quebec.

The beach we launched from was full of people dressed in bathing suits, shorts and t-shirts enjoying a good spring sunburn. Little kids were running in and out of the chilly water exhilarated, yelling, "Mommy! It's cold!"

Yes, the water in May is still cold so I'll do another stupid t…

Gear Check. What's your zipper doin'!

This is the most important girl zipper check when cycling.

With cooler spring temperatures and wind this year, I forgot how many layers I had put on before I ran out of layers and shouldn't zip down to the belly any more to cool down.

Zippers are on my mind.

The big zips. The monsters of all zippers. Dry suit zippers! The terrors of paddling. You have nightmares about getting yours open. No? You have strong wrists and big biceps maybe? Even so, it's not easy to get outta that dry suit by yourself?

When a paddle buddy turns red, purple, then blue in the face and gasps, "Can you help me with my zipper . . . ", he really needs help with it, and probably so will you!

I've resisted buying a dry suit year after year because I can't get the zippers to move when I test them in the store.

The store assistant says, "But they have this wax . . . it helps."

So I asked which brand I should try. "Level Six or Kokatat?"

Store assistant: "Level Six